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A Madden ratings performance adjustor explains what goes into the job that everyone's jealous of

A Madden ratings performance adjustor explains what goes into the job that everyone's jealous of

Even on a field filled with NFL players, experienced coaches and a few celebrities, Clint Oldenburg stood out. 

It wasn’t because of his stature or that he used to play pro football, either.

It was due to his jacket.

A jacket, which led to a photo, which led to a tweet, which led to unexpected Internet fame, all thanks to the four words written on Oldenburg’s back: “Madden Ratings Performance Adjustor.”

Oldenburg was spending Week 9 at FedEx Field, sent by EA Sports to get more information on Adrian Peterson at that afternoon’s Redskins-Falcons game. The future Hall of Famer is in the middle of a comeback season, so Oldenburg was charged with checking in on him.

4.5 million Twitter impressions later, Oldenburg now knows that countless people are supremely jealous of his weekend vocation.

https://twitter.com/steinkopf_storm/status/1059514895094501382

"I wasn’t really engaging on my cell phone during the game, and then when I was catching my cab to the airport after the game I looked at it and said, ‘Holy crap,’” he said in a recent phone interview.

"I was in shock as to what was happening.”

A fifth-round pick of the Patriots in 2007, Oldenburg also had brief stints with the Jets and a few others, including the Redskins. These days, he spends Monday-Friday working to make Madden’s gameplay better.

But he’s also a part of the Ratings Adjustor team, a small group of evaluators who travel to stadiums, observe players and submit their notes to a fellow employee. That primary analyst takes their notes into account and then has the final say on every player’s precious overall rating, which can fluctuate with each Madden update. 

Now, you may find the idea of sending someone to the site of a matchup to do this gig a bit preposterous. But according to Oldenburg, being there in-person does make a major difference.

"The benefits of the sideline really are for pregame,” he explained. “Just seeing how guys are working in pregame, getting a close-up view of their actual athletic skills, their footwork.”

Oldenburg also likes the “better perspective” he gets once the action kicks off. For example, while focusing on Peterson during the Burgundy and Gold’s loss to Atlanta, he felt like No. 26 missed some cutback lanes, something Oldenburg always finds himself paying attention to thanks to his days battling along the line.

Much like the thousands of social media users who shared various reactions about his job, players take an interest in him as well.

While in Landover, kicker Dustin Hopkins found Oldenburg on the sideline and passed along a request: That day, the team was planning on kicking off short as opposed to through the end zone, so Hopkins wanted to make sure his kick power wouldn't be decreased. 

"They wanna come talk about what we’re doing,” Oldenburg said about the athletes he’s tasked with grading. "Information like that is always valuable."

After his playing career wrapped up, Oldenburg jumped into an internship working on the video game that he loved growing up. “Everything took off” after that 10-week program, and he’s been enjoying it ever since.

"I always had to scratch and claw for everything I got,” he said near the end of the call. "I wanted to find a career that I knew I’d be happy doing.”

In the end, he landed in a career that makes him happy. And as one viral tweet showed, plenty of others would be happy in his role too. 

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Should the Redskins follow the recent trend and update their uniforms?

Should the Redskins follow the recent trend and update their uniforms?

The first wave of NFL free agency is in the books and the NFL Draft is still a couple of weeks away, meaning there is some downtime in the league's offseason right now.

There's even more time now in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic with stay-at-home orders in almost every city in the United States.

So earlier this week, two NFC South teams took advantage of the unexpected free time and released updated uniform designs. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released three different uniforms on Tuesday that were a little bit of a throwback style, similar to the uniforms the squad wore in the early 2000s. A day later, the Atlanta Falcons released a completely new arsenal of jerseys and they were quite controversial. Even another NFC South opponent took the opportunity to troll the new Falcons design on Twitter.

The Redskins have made minor alterations to their uniforms over the years, but they've had the same basic design since 1983. So, is it time for the Burgundy and Gold to join the recent trend and give the fans a new design?

Honestly, there's no better time to make a change.

The team is entering a new era of Redskins football. Longtime team president Bruce Allen has been ousted, along with head athletic trainer Larry Hess. The team has brought in well-respected head coach Ron Rivera to turn the culture around in Ashburn, and there's more optimism surrounding Redskins Park than there has been in years. Heck, even the team's official Twitter account reads "new vibe. new szn. new rivERA."

If the Redskins were to release new uniforms, they have two options: rebrand an old uniform (there are several good ones to choose from), or completely make a new design. Let's start with the first option.

Over the past decade, the Redskins have sported four regular uniform combinations: Burgundy jersey with gold pants; burgundy jersey with white pants; white jersey with burgundy pants; and white jersey with gold pants. 

The team has shied away from a burgundy-on-burgundy or a white-on-white look, arguably the two cleanest uniform combinations the Redskins currently have. Bringing these back would be a super easy, yet worthwhile change.

The one-color uniform was worn often by the Redskins during the 2000s, as some of the team's best memories with Clinton Portis, Santana Moss and Sean Taylor came in the white-on-whites. Multiple current Redskins still love the white-on-white design and sported the look at practice at times last season.

But if Washington was to alter the uniform design slightly, it wouldn't have to look far to find an easy solution. Some of the Redskins throwback uniforms could easily be modernized, and as a result, be turned into one of the cleanest looks in football.

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The helmet is one of the easiest things that could be upgraded, and the Redskins have two options they could turn to.

During the 1960s, the Redskins wore a spear on the side of their helmet. It was fierce, intimidating and clean. The spear is one of the Redskins' best helmets in franchise history. The spear was last donned during the Steve Spurrier era, but only as an alternate. 

The other helmet the Redskins could revert back to would be the classic 'R' logo, inspired by Vince Lombardi. The Redskins wore this helmet for just two seasons in the early 1970s, but it certainly made its mark on the fans. It has also been used as a Redskins alternate uniform but not on a game day since 2007.

This uniform as a whole deserves to be modernized and brought back. The retro logo is terrific, as are the yellow helmets, single red stripe and gray facemasks. The striping on the shoulder pad, meanwhile, looks nice, and the red numbers set on top of the pristine white jersey complete it all.

Of course, the team could also release a completely new design that no Redskins fan has seen before. With the burgundy, gold and white color scheme, the Redskins certainly would have options with a new design. 

But if the Redskins were to learn one thing from recent uniform releases, avoid gradient color meshes. It doesn't look good. If you don't believe me, just ask the Falcons or Jaguars.

Deion Sanders once said, "If you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you play good. If you play good, they pay good."

Well, maybe it's time for the Redskins to listen to Primetime.

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Peter King believes it's 'pretty likely' Kyle Allen starts for Redskins due to Coronavirus

Peter King believes it's 'pretty likely' Kyle Allen starts for Redskins due to Coronavirus

A few days ago, Ron Rivera identified Kyle Allen as the Redskins' contingency plan if Coronavirus really disrupts the NFL's offseason. Well, Peter King expects the team will ultimately have to use that plan.

During an interview with JP Finlay on the Redskins Talk podcast, the longtime football analyst explained that he, like most, is unsure what's going to transpire over the next handful of months. However, King thinks the pandemic will continue to change offseason programs and also have a "major" effect on training camp.

And if those consequences come to fruition, he's confident Allen will prove to be the team's best option to start.

"I believe the way that this year is moving that it's pretty likely that opening day, at quarterback for Washington, is not going to be Dwayne Haskins," King told Redskins Talk. 

While some originally accosted the Burgundy and Gold for giving up a fifth-round pick in their trade for the ex-Panthers passer, King actually praised it. The transaction, in his mind, was "very, very smart" and gives the Redskins viable insurance if Haskins isn't able to pick up a new system because of a truncated schedule. 

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"If you're Ron Rivera, you want a guy who you know can walk in Day 1," King said. "If you have to face the New York Giants on September 13, you want a guy who knows everything about Scott Turner's offense and who's well-versed in everything he's going to have to do."

To be clear, King explained that it wouldn't even really be Haskins' fault in the above scenario. In a regular year, he makes much more sense as the Redskins signal caller in 2020, and Rivera recently revealed that's the way he's leaning for now, too.

Yet at some point, if the 2019 first-round selection is only able to communicate with his new coaches through a phone and not face-to-face on a field, Allen's experience with Rivera and Turner may end up as the difference in a competition. 

Should that occur, King will monitor how Haskins handles it. His reaction could be telling.  

"Obviously, it's not an ideal situation for Dwayne Haskins," King said. "But if you can't, in this particular situation, if you can't adapt and adjust, then I would really question whether you're the guy for this job for the long haul.

"I would really question your value to this team."

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